08/20/2003 11:00PM

Trion Georgia on top of his game


What might have seemed like a run-of-the-mill allowance race on the Kentucky Derby undercard is looking better by the week.

Private Horde and Trion Georgia both rallied strongly at Churchill Downs to dead-heat for win in the fourth race on Derby Day, a $58,900 allowance. Since then, Private Horde defeated some of the top sprinters in the United States when upsetting the Grade 2 Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 10.

Meanwhile, Trion Georgia isn't doing so bad, either. Although he finished last when compromised by an extremely wide trip in the Aristides Handicap at Churchill in his first try following the dead heat, Trion Georgia subsequently won an Ellis Park allowance race by 4 1/2 lengths.

Trion Georgia stands an excellent chance of furthering his stature in Saturday's $75,000 Governor's Handicap at the Henderson, Ky., track. The one-mile race drew a field of 11.

"We've always really liked this horse," said Rob O'Connor, who trains Trion Georgia for longtime client Jim Bohanon. "He's had some problems here and there, but right now he's doing super."

Trion Georgia, a Kentucky-bred sired by Prospect Bay, has won 6 of 17 starts, with his most notable victory coming in a $100,000 stakes race at Philadelphia Park in the fall of his 3-year-old year.

Besides Trion Georgia, who will carry 115 pounds, the other major contenders in the Governor's include Patton's Victory, 120, and Pass Rush, 119. Patton's Victory most recently won the Prairie Meadows Handicap via disqualification, while Pass Rush won a July 20 allowance prep at Ellis in his last start.

The Governor's is the lone stakes of the next-to-last weekend of the Ellis meet. The 41-day meet closes next weekend with the Dade Turf Classic on Saturday and the Tri-State Handicap on Labor Day, Sept. 1.

* Six winning tickets were sold on the pick six Wednesday at Ellis, with each $2 ticket returning $119,482. One of the winning tickets was sold at the Trackside simulcast facility in Louisville, and the other five were sold outside of Kentucky.

A carryover of $280,255, second largest in track history, brought out a number of big players, as an additional $746,391 was bet into the pick six Wednesday.